You can help feed the hungry - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

You can help feed the hungry

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These cards can help feed the hungry.  You can pick them up at Cafe 230 or B.J.'s Country Buffet. These cards can help feed the hungry. You can pick them up at Cafe 230 or B.J.'s Country Buffet.
Food finds its way to the trash can at B.J.'s Country Buffet in Albany.  Thousands of pounds of food is thrown away every day at restaurants city wide. Food finds its way to the trash can at B.J.'s Country Buffet in Albany. Thousands of pounds of food is thrown away every day at restaurants city wide.
Fried chicken is a popular staple on buffets and menus throughout South Georgia. Fried chicken is a popular staple on buffets and menus throughout South Georgia.
Plates sit waiting for customers at B.J.'s Country Buffet in Albany. Plates sit waiting for customers at B.J.'s Country Buffet in Albany.
Customers line up to take advantage of the offerings on the buffet. Customers line up to take advantage of the offerings on the buffet.
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Thousands of Georgians go hungry every day.

But now there's a card that you can pick up that can help feed those that are hungry.  A card that's about the size of a credit card, like the kind that you might use to pay for your dinner. 

Now you can use this card to pick up the tab for someone who otherwise might not be able to sit at the table next to you.

It's a typical lunchtime in Albany.  At restaurants like B.J.'s Country Buffet, the plates are piled high, waiting for the customers to pile it on themselves.  At least some of that food, however, will wind up in the trash can.  Too much of it in fact.

B.J. Fletcher, an Albany Restaurateur said, "they'll fix them a couple of plates, eat what they want and leave the equivalence of a whole plate on the table."

That's in stark contrast to the food story for some families around South Georgia.

"There's people who are struggling to put the three meals a day on their plates," said Fletcher.

So, Fletcher decided to do something about the problem.  The result?  The Albany Food Challenge.  It has three parts.  The first is up to you when you go out.

Fletcher said, "if you give me that waste - stop that waste - I can feed hundreds of people free."

Then there's another way to help while you're out.  You can buy cards that serve as vouchers and either give them away or leave them to help someone get a meal.  But Fletcher realized that some people don't go out to eat, so she figured out a way to reach them as well.

Tonya Wright of Wright Touch Designs said, "she came to me and she said we want to get a web site up and allow folks to give money and contribute to the cause. We want to get sponsors."

For Wright, the chance to ease the hunger that some people feel was too good to pass up.

"I have five kids of my own, and sometimes you try to figure out how to feed them and take care of them, especially with the economy the way that it is," she said.

Even if South Georgians can't eliminate it completely, they can help fill the stomachs of people who don't have enough. And that's some real food for thought.

The address for the web site is www.albanyfoodchallenge.com and it will be activated on Monday of next week.  We'll have a link to that site when it is up and running.

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